Fossilized frogs yield bone marrow

July 27, 2006

Scientists say they've extracted bone marrow from fossilized frogs and salamanders that died 10 million years ago in the swamps of northeastern Spain.

The first fossilized bone marrow known to science was discovered in remarkable detail, the BBC reported, and provides scientists with possible traces of organic molecules, protein and even, possibly, DNA.

Bone marrow is the tissue that fills the center of large bones, producing platelets and red and white blood cells. Scientists are studying the material for traces of organic molecules, protein and DNA.

"Finding soft tissue like this is so important because it gives an insight into the physiology of ancient organisms, and how their bodies worked," Maria McNamara of University College Dublin told the BBC. "The fact that we've got red bone marrow in the salamander shows their blood cells were produced in the bone marrow; in the modern salamander it is not, it is produced in the spleen."

An initial report on the discovery appears in the journal Geology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers show high-performance breathing in bones

Related Stories

Researchers show high-performance breathing in bones

January 3, 2018

Dinosaurs are far from extinct, but dominate as birds still most regions of the globe. Part of this huge success is due to the evolution of air sacs, which are crucial for the high efficiency of their respiratory system. ...

Recommended for you

Lifting barriers to citizenship for low-income immigrants

January 15, 2018

Taking the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony is an emotional moment for many immigrants, and for good reason: it is the culmination of an often arduous process and many years of striving. Citizenship also opens ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.